[OAI-implementers] Friends and Neighbours scheme ... locating OAIrepositories

herbert van de sompel hvdsomp@yahoo.com
Sat, 02 Mar 2002 09:53:38 +0000


I have proposed the introduction of a ListFriends verb, which was supposed to
do exactly what you describe, for inclusion in version 2.0 of the OAI-PMH.  I
felt it would have been an interesting addition to the spec because it
supported service providers in locating data poviders in a non-centralised
manner.    However, the OAI-Tech committee has decided not to pursue it,
mainly because we could not figure out what the incentives would be for a
repository to do the additional work of keeping a list of "befriended" repos.

I wrote a white paper on it, in October 2001.  If you are interested please
send me a private mail.


herbert van de sompel

Alan Kent wrote:

> Another mailing list I am on related to Z39.50 is talking about the
> concept of "Friends and Neighbours". It may be a bit early for
> OAI (not that many sites yet!), but the basic idea is that sites
> keep track of what other sites they know of. That way, there does
> not need to be a central registry as such. Theoretically someone
> can write a crawler, start at one site, find out what other
> sites it knows of, and work its way on from there.
> This allows major institutions with a real commitment to OAI to
> maintain a list of other sites under their juristiction, with links
> off to other places where similar lists are kept.
> One way this could be done in OAI for example is to define a new
> XML schema for information on repositories. You then ask your first
> site (you have to be given a starting point) what sites it knows of.
> It will probably return itself (not mandatory for simple data provider
> implementations), but it may return other sites it knows of.
> The crawler can then go off and ask those sites what sites they know
> of, and so on.
> Two things are needed to achieve this:
> (1) A definition of a new schema describing a OAI site. Probably only
>     needs repository id, BaseURL, and protocol version. The Identify
>     verb can be used on the site to get other information.
> (2) One or more of the data provider software implementors to support
>     more than one record syntax (ie, not only dublin core).
> I am assuming that in OAI if you ask for data in a particular record
> schema, you will only get records that were in that syntax.
> It seemed a better way of getting an up to date list of sites compared
> to the current ListFriends.pl XML document at the www.openarchives.org
> site. It allows the OAI protocol to maintain lists of OAI sites
> in a distributed way. Aggregators just aggregate OAI site records
> like any other record they would aggregate.
> I thought it was a cute idea.
> Alan
> --
> Alan Kent (mailto:ajk@mds.rmit.edu.au, http://www.mds.rmit.edu.au)
> Postal: Multimedia Database Systems, RMIT, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne 3001.
> Where: RMIT MDS, Bld 91, Level 3, 110 Victoria St, Carlton 3053, VIC
> Australia.
> Phone: +61 3 9925 4114  Reception: +61 3 9925 4099  Fax: +61 3 9925 4098
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